Sunday, August 30, 2009

Brisbane's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

August 23 marked the beginning for the fashion event gathering momentum in Brisbane as Queensland's premier fashion week. With a collection of the best local and national designers, the show was based in Brisbane's City Hall- and largely aimed at the public, similar to the Rosemount show recently held in Sydney. The week started with a swimwear show featuring designs by Flamingo Sands, Riot Swimwear and Rebecca Manning Swim, which saw models strutting bare-foot on the suitably chosen Portside Wharf.

Running up until November 8 is the greatly anticipated showcase by Queensland design duo Easton Pearson; celebrating the twentieth anniversary of their internationally recognised label. The collection explored the eccentricities that have inspired the designers since the label's conception in 1989. Sidestepping current trends, as always, the collection- showing in Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art- features beautifully detailed beading and embroidery. The editor of Australia Vogue herself, Kirstie Clements, was extremely impressed with the showcase, saying the pieces were "works of art."

Another Queensland local, was winner of the first season of Project Runway Australia; Juli Grbac, showing the latest designs from her Grbac label. I was definitely a Juli follower on the show, but looking at her collection this time round it seems like she's still stuck in Project-Mode. Her style really hasn't evolved since her first collection, and this week was proof her aesthetic favours the same satin, tulle and ruffled dresses. And it wouldn't be a Grbac show, of course, without the obligatory shoulder-frill that stands in contrast (and rightly so) to the strong shoulders we see around today. Although some may argue these features are her trademark, she plays it quite safe with one too many bodiced dresses. Although I would have expected her to embrace some more pleating in the way of pants for this season especially, her designs cannot be faulted in terms of craftsmanship. The picture below is one of my favourite pieces from the collection, which could have been a stand-out if she had ventured a bit further from her very frilly, very ruffly safety net.

Visitors to "Bris-Vegas" had seemingly much more to offer, still flying high after the success of previous shows and collections; with Kirrily Johnston, Nicola Finetti and Akira Isogawa to name a few. Johnston's collection was one of the highlights- featuring more (bang on trend) soft draping and muted colours than her show in Sydney, but still with the perfectly placed pop of orange.

Finetti's collection was beautiful, yet it too was borderline safe, with many of his looks similar not only to one another, but previous collections. His trademarked bodiced mini dress featured heavily throughout the collection, with sheers and a hint of an uneven hemline giving it a modern spin. I especially loved the dress below (partly because it reminded me of Dion Lee's Rosemount O Dress) for the incredible structure that was responsible for the collection's architectural saving grace.
If there was a brief for the Brisbane shows, Akira would have nailed it. His use of refreshing summer colours, floaty fabrics and models in sandals suited the place and climate, and has epitomised Queensland Fashion (strange, for a Sydneysider...)

Pictures from zimbio

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fashion Week...well, one of

Alex Perry

Things have been a bit stagnant around here, but the opposite can be said for the fashion world. The last few weeks have been a non-stop whirlwind of festivals, parades and fashion shows, and it doesn't look like it's letting up anytime soon. Last week saw the culmination of Sydney's Rosemount Fashion Festival coincide with Myer's Spring/Summer Fashion Launch, as well as the opening of Brisbane's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, phew!

Never one to take a back seat, Alex Perry didn't fail to disappoint, despite claiming to "tone it down" due to the state of "our economy." The collection did have a more subdued feel to it- almost centering around the staple LBD- but the crowd definitely wasn't disappointed in terms of Perry's trademark dramatic gowns. Another standout in the Perry show was Australia's Next Top Model winner Tahnee Atkinson, who donned a sparkling (almost too short) bodiced mini (Balmain anyone?) Definitely refreshing to see such a gorgeous, healthy-looking girl in a design usually reserved for the walking twigs.

Tahnee in Alex Perry

It was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of trends in Sydney, with some designers eager to break away from the drab winter gloom and with spring (literally) just around the corner, seemed bursting to get messy with colour. Although white was a standout at Therese Rawsthorne, Kirrily Johnston's show featured a palette of sunshiney goodness.

Kirrily Johnston

The power trend is still very much in business, with the structured blazer remaining the key trans-seasonal piece whilst waiting to finally shed those winter layers. Still prominent at camilla and marc, the look for spring sees the power players being diffused with a softer edge, as seen at Manning Cartell.

camilla and marc

Manning Cartell

Uneven hemlines have also carried on from April's Melbourne Fashion Week, with Ellery favouring this flowy silhouette. Kim Ellery is definitely one to watch, with her collection featuring artistic cutouts (Wang-style) paired with this season's take on harems.


Another favourite of mine was the Bec & Bridge show, proving our designers are still taking their cues from the best, with looks from both this and the Ellery show slightly reminiscent of the Louis Vuitton Spring 2009 collection.

Bec & Bridge

photos courtesy of zimbio.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival

Alex Perry for Diet Coca Cola Little Black Dress (Getty Images)
It's a festival of fashion in Sydney this week, with Australian designers showcasing their summer collections soon to hit stores, for none other than the Australian public! Shows are both free and ticketed; with tickets made available to the general public through Ticketek. It wasn't just an Australian affair however; with Italian label Missoni contributing to opening night's Diet Coca Cola Little Black Dress show, along with Australian King of Fashion- Alex Perry.

Other designers that have showed so far include Project Runway Australia's judge Jayson Brunsdon, whose Audrey Hepburn inspired collection was a melting pot of pleated pastels and starched metallics. Gary Bigeni's collection was slightly reminiscent of John Galliano for Dior's AW 08/09 haute couture collection, with a strong emphasis on sheers. Another highlight was newcomer Dion Lee's architecturally tailored Rosemount O dress, inspired by the "O" in the sponsor's name, and the beautiful location of the festival.

Models walk the runway for Jayson Brunsdon (The Age)
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Alice Burdeu, posing as Audrey Hepburn- Brunsdon's muse (Daily Telegraph)




Alexandra Agoston in Dion Lee's Rosemount "O" Dress (Grazia)
..Stay tuned for more updates on the Rosemount Sydney Fashion Festival as the week unfolds!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making the Cut

Sandals, platforms, booties, shoe-boots, shoots- one thing they all have in common this season is cut-outs. The sandal has undergone an edgy turnaround ever since Carrie stepped onto movie screens wearing the now infamous Dior Extreme Cut Out Sandal- the ones that started it all! The cutting-edge trend was responsible for last season's gladiator hysteria, and looks set to continue this season with designers proving they are not afraid of those scissors! Giuseppe Zanotti, Givenchy, Versace; even our very own Mimco, are a few designers who have led the way for many a chain store look-alike!

Giuseppe Zanotti Cut Out Sandals, NET-A-PORTER
Siren Cult, $139.95

Givenchy Open Toe Booties,

Peep Toe Miss Buenos Aires $275

Versace T-Strap Peep Toe Platforms, from
Wittner Venice, $179.95

Begian label Ann Demeulemeester now has an almost cult-like following of her lace up booties that are like a cross between a boot and a sneaker... these are not for those who like to play it safe! Not sure if they'll take off in Australia yet, although I've seen a pretty good lookalike at Zoe Wittner for only $199.95.
Photo: Wittner

Photo: Ann Demeulemeester

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Still blazing ahead of the rest...softly.

Alexander Wang SS09

Magdalena Velevska SS09/10

camilla and marc SS09/10
Photos:, Vogue and Grazia. Grazie!

Looks like the suiting trend is here to stay (for now anyway!) While the strong-shouldered blazer trademarked by Christophe Decarnin at Balmain isn't going anywhere, the sharp tailoring of last season has been diffused with softer, more feminine shapes for spring.
Alexander Wang showcased many a blazer starting spring 2008 and his collections have been littered with them ever since. The pink number shown above, paired with equally bright softly pleated shorts, set the benchmark for our own spring/summer collections in terms of colour especially. With the barometer set to strong shoulders, soft draping and summer colours, it was only a matter of time before the shoulders started heading south: literally.
Aussie designers have taken their cues from the greats; with the trends cropping up in the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week earlier in the year. On-trend-nowhere-near-newcomer Magdalena Velevska showcased her first independent collection combining summer colours with softly draped silhouettes, whilst still favouring "the shoulder". Dynamic duo camilla and marc continued on the success of their previous blazer-heavy collections this time following suit (no pun intended) and favouring a more delicately dishevelled aesthetic.
The '80s fanatics can continue to rejoice; big shoulders are here to stay, and this trend has made sure everybody's suiting up.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August, the month avant Chanel... I mean Septembre.

Seems like I'm the latest casualty in the epidemic that has morbidity rates soaring amongst fashionistas the blogging-world over! Now I've got the mandatory opening cliché out of the way... welcome to Fashion Morebidity.

What a coincidence that I happen to start blogging just before September, one of the biggest months of the fashion year. The beginning of August sees fashion publications go into overdrive before the release of their biggest issue of the year; September. The Paris Haute Couture shows are still fresh in our minds, the US and Europe have just unveiled this season's fall (read: autumn for those of us Down Under!) runway collections and international fashion houses have outdone themselves in their latest ad campaigns.

Australian designers are also at the forefront of the fashion race the past few weeks, with David Jones unveiling their new spring/summer collection for '09/10 featuring our very own Miranda Kerr. Collette Dinnigan hit the nail on the head with her prediction that the spring/summer collections will be a burst of fresh colour and flowy fabrics. At last- some vibrancy! Exactly what we needed after an Australian winter favouring structured lines and a monochromatic palette. Don't get me wrong, I love a strong shoulder (especially of the Balmain variety) as much as the next girl, but spring brings with it a much-loved need for more feminine silhouettes.

This month also saw fashion explode onto our screens- and not only on our TVs. After the success of the first season of Australian Project Runway, I am now relishing in the second season hosted by Kristy Hinze. Reality TV got a whole new wardrobe with the premier of E's Stylista- a competition to see who can make it as the next junior editor of US Elle Magazine. Film has also been taken over by fashion, with the release of Coco Avant Chanel and (nearly) the September Issue. After seeing the biography of the life of Gabrielle Chanel (need I even attempt to explain who she is?) I am greatly anticipating the release of The Septmeber Issue, a documentary (nothing David Attenborough about this!) with one of the biggest names in fashion publishing; Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue.

And what would August be without the latest issue of Australian Vogue, this month celebrating its 50th birthday? One only has see September 2009 Celebrating 50 years of Vogue to realise that this September is shaping up to be one of our most fashionable yet!